Saturday, June 02, 2007

South Africa's NMMU Choir Opens Ravinia, Wows Audience with Versatility, Skill

Ravinia's first night of the season started out Friday, June 1, 2007, with a bang, as thunder crashed over Bennett-Gordon Hall. Featured was the 40-member Nelson Mandela Metropolitan (NMMU) Chorus under the direction of Junita Lamprecht-Van Dijk. The 40 member chorus, who range in age from 19-49, are amazingly talented, highly skilled musicians, and present a concert far different from those usually heard.

The concert showcased compositions of the choir director's husband, South African composer Peter-Louis van Dijk, who has composed a commissioned piece based on the poems of Carl Sandberg to mark the 5oth anniversity celebration of the Chicago Children's Choir. The new composition will debut on June 2, 2007 in Chicago. The first half of the concert was all classical; the second brought the audience to its feet with high energy African drumming, dancing, and traditional African songs.

The choir will be performing Saturdy, June 2, 2007 with the Chicago Children's Choir at the Civic Opera House, and on Sunday, June 3, at the DuSable Museum.

If you have a chance to attend these performances, or any of the others while the group is on its USA tour, make plans to go if you can. The NMMU Choir provided a unique and highly enjoyable musical experience.

Note: We have had many visitors to this post from South Africa. If you are a member of the choir, or a family member or friend of someone in the choir, there are additional pictures from the Ravinia performance which we would be happy to email you. Just click on "Profile" for a link to the email address.


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